The term ‘relative deprivation’ was used originally by? | CUET Sociology Mock Test MCQ with Answer Explanation | Sociology for CUET by Vikash Ranjan | Sociology Guru

Relative Deprivation


Question: The term ‘relative deprivation’ was used originally by?

  1. Samuel A. Stouffer
  2. R. K. Merton
  3. Herbert Hyman
  4. K. Davis

Answer: (1)

Samuel A. Stouffer, an intellectual luminary in the twentieth century, was instrumental in cultivating the soils of social science with his innovative methodologies, concepts, and statistical acumen. Stouffer’s intellectual odyssey was marked with a distinct propensity to harness the power of probability surveys, utilizing them as potent tools to unravel the intricacies of social phenomena. His unwavering dedication and relentless pursuits culminated in the establishment of probability surveys as a bedrock methodological approach in social science research, thereby illuminating pathways to novel exploratory dimensions.

In the theatre of Stouffer’s conceptual contributions, the term ‘relative deprivation’ occupies a pivotal stage. This concept is a brilliant testament to Stouffer’s capacity to probe deeply into the human psyche and social interactions, shedding light on the ubiquitous sentiments of inequality and dissatisfaction that permeate societies. Stouffer’s relative deprivation is an intricate embroidery of perceptions and feelings that individuals harbor in relation to their circumstances compared to others, creating a landscape of resentment and discontent. It’s a term that echoes the silent sufferings, the quiet tumults that brew within individuals when they perceive themselves to be in positions of disadvantage or receiving unequal treatment in comparison to others.

A new dimension that this concept opens up to exploration is its predictive potency. Through the prism of relative deprivation, one can glean insights into a spectrum of outcomes that are sculpted by the feelings of resentment and deprivation that individuals experience. Empirical explorations and meta-analyses have bestowed credibility upon the concept as a reliable predictor of various consequential outcomes, aligning the concept with practical relevance and applicability.

However, like many concepts in the annals of scholarly discourse, relative deprivation has not been immune to critique and evolution. In the dynamic arenas of sociological and psychological explorations, the concept has witnessed epochs of fervent adoption and phases of gradual abandonment. This historical journey of the concept’s utilization reflects the oscillations in its perceived efficacy and relevance in explicating collective protest and social movements. Early proclamations, imbued with optimism, cast the concept as a monumental pillar in understanding collective actions and societal upheavals. However, the tides of time and scholarly scrutiny have ushered in a more nuanced appreciation of the concept’s applicability, scope, and limitations.

In the revitalization of Stouffer’s conceptual contribution, a contemplative reflection on the historical trajectory of relative deprivation becomes indispensable. A thorough critique and understanding of its application, successes, and shortcomings, allow for a renewed and enriched appreciation of its significance. This reinvigoration is essential to recapture the concept’s relevance and to position it within contemporary discourses, ensuring that it continues to resonate with the dynamism and complexities of current societal contexts.

In conclusion, the concept of relative deprivation, a scholarly gem mined from the intellectual pursuits of Samuel A. Stouffer, remains an essential construct in understanding the psychological and sociological landscapes of inequality, resentment, and social actions. Stouffer’s legacy, immortalized through this concept, among others, continues to permeate the realms of social psychology, offering lenses of exploration and understanding that are both profound and transformative. The journey of relative deprivation, from its inception to its contemporary revitalization, is a captivating narrative of intellectual evolution, reflective of the ever-changing contours of societal understanding and scholarly inquiry.

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Frequently Asked Questions:

1. Question: Define the term “ethnic movement” and provide an example from India.

Answer: An ethnic movement refers to a collective effort by a group sharing common cultural, linguistic, or religious traits, seeking to assert their identity and rights; an example from India is the Khalistan Movement in Punjab.

2. Question: Identify the main objectives behind the Gorkhaland ethnic movement.

Answer: The Gorkhaland ethnic movement primarily seeks to establish a separate state for India’s Nepali-speaking population in the Darjeeling region, advocating for linguistic and cultural recognition and political autonomy.

3. Question: What was the Operation Blue Star, and which ethnic movement was it related to?
Answer: Operation Blue Star was a military action in 1984, aiming to remove Sikh militants hiding in the Golden Temple in Amritsar; it is related to the Khalistan movement, which sought a separate Sikh country.

4. Question: Mention a critical factor that triggered the emergence of ethnic movements in India, as discussed by Dipankar Gupta.
Answer: Dipankar Gupta emphasized that ethnicity is fundamentally a political process, wherein caste and religion, the key components of identity formation, are politicized by leaders for vested interests.

5. Question: What were the primary reasons for the Assam Ethnicity conflicts involving Bodo tribals and Bengali Muslim settlers?
Answer: The Assam Ethnicity conflicts primarily stemmed from issues related to immigration, land rights, and resource allocation, leading to clashes, riots, and evolving relationships among indigenous communities to address challenges.

6. Question: Briefly describe the role of the Dravidian Movement in terms of caste and societal structure.
Answer: The Dravidian Movement, led notably by E.V. Ramasamy, aimed to establish an egalitarian society, focusing on anti-Brahmanism and advocating for equal rights for backward castes, while also introducing reforms like self-respect marriages.

7. Question: Name the prominent ethnic movements in North-East India and specify one common objective.
Answer: Prominent ethnic movements in North-East India include the Nagas’ and Mizos’ struggles; a common objective was to gain autonomy and recognition for their distinct tribal identities and cultural uniqueness.

8. Question: What is the key argument of Gail Omveldt regarding traditional Indian society and multiculturalism?
Answer: Gail Omveldt opposed romanticizing traditional Indian society, arguing that hierarchy has always dominated it and dismissing the notion that multiculturalism is an intrinsic feature of Indian society as a myth.

9. Question: Briefly explain the social hierarchy factor as a contributing element to ethnic movements as suggested by Olzak.
Answer: Olzak suggests that the construction of hierarchies among ethnic communities, which often leads to the suppression of one group by another, is a key factor that can instigate social and ethnic movements.

10. Question: Identify one consequence of the unequal economic development factor within the context of ethnic movements in India.
Answer: One consequence of unequal economic development is the marginalization and underdevelopment of certain groups, leading to feelings of alienation and sometimes initiating ethnic movements as these groups strive for equality and recognition.

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